NOBLEBORO, Maine — Fire departments from far and wide were on the scene of an intense blaze overnight Sunday that destroyed a house, garage, four vehicles and threatened to spread into the nearby woods.
Ryan Gallagher, chief of the Minnehata Fire Department in the town of Nobleboro, said the fire started in the garage but had spread to the attached home on Squiers Alley off East Pond Road by the time the first crews arrived. Ten minutes later, the burning home, a two-story modular, collapsed in on itself.
“It’s a total loss,” Gallagher said.
Complicating matters was that the fire spread into the woods surrounding the property. Gallagher said trees and vegetation to the rear and side of the home were burned, but the fire didn’t spread far. That was an accomplishment considering tinder-dry conditions across the state led to several dozen fires over the weekend that had the Maine Forest Service hopping from fire to fire.
Three vehicles also were destroyed by the blaze, and a fourth had heat damage to one side.
Gallagher said one of the homeowners reported the fire at about 9:15 p.m. Sunday and that everyone, including children who live in the home, were able to escape unharmed. Two cats were still missing Monday morning.
The home, which is insured, is owned by William Squier. The family was staying at a friend’s home Monday and receiving assistance from the American Red Cross, Gallagher said.
Every fire department in Lincoln County and a couple from Knox County fought the fire, which put at least 50 firefighters at the scene at its peak. Gallagher said all of those departments and the equipment they brought — particularly water tanks — helped keep the fire from spreading more than it did. Crews were dousing hot spots throughout the night and were still at the scene late Monday morning.
Investigators were at the scene trying to determine the cause of the fire on Monday.